Section II: Policies on the Requirements for the MD Degree

The courses listed below represent the requirements for the current first-and-second year classes. Students in prior classes have been required to complete equivalent coursework. However, course titles and numbers have changed. Thus, the section below reflects the present configuration of pre-clinical courses.

MD 2018 First Year, First Semester 

Course Credits Grading Option Course Leader(S)
BIOL3640 Doctoring I 2 S/NC S. Warrier, K. Dodd
BIOL3642 IMS-I: Scientific Foundations of Medicine 1 S/NC T. Salazar-Mather
BIOL3643 IMS-I: Histology 1 S/NC M. Thompson, J. Ou, K. Hansen
BIOL3644 IMS-I: Human Anatomy I
S/NC D. Ritter
BIOL3645 IMS-I: General Pathology 1 S/NC L. Dumenco, A. Kane, J. Ou, K. Hansen
BIOL3656 IMS-I: Health Systems and Policy I 1 S/NC E. Tobin-Tyler

MD 2018 First Year, Second Semester 

Course Credits Grading Option Course Leader(S)
BIOL3650 Doctoring II 2 S/NC S. Warrier, K. Dodd
BIOL3652 IMS-II: Brain Sciences 2 S/NC J. Roth, N.S. Potter, J. Donahue, G. Tung, B. Connors, D. Berson, C. Harrington, E. Lowenhaupt
BIOL3653 IMS-II: Microbiology/Infectious Diseases 1 S/NC T. Salazar-Mather, J. Lonks, A. Pop-Vicas
BIOL3665 IMS-II: Supporting Structures
1 S/NC

S. Schwartz, J. Katarincic, L. Robinson-Bostom, R. DeLellis, W. Bowen

BIOL3655 IMS-II:  Human Anatomy II 1 S/NC D. Ritter
BIOL3657 IMS-II Health Systems and Policy II 1/2 S/NC P. George

MD 2017 Second Year, First Semester 

Course Credits Grading Option Course Leader(S)
BIOL3660 Doctoring III 2 S/NC M. Daniel, S. Rougas
BIOL3662 IMS-III: Cardiovascular 1 S/NC D. Burtt, R. DeLellis, W. Bowen
BIOL3663 IMS-III: Pulmonary 1 S/NC M. Jankowich, B. Kimble, R. DeLellis, W. Bowen
BIOL3664 IMS-III: Renal 1 S/NC S. Hu, K. Richmond, R. DeLellis, W. Bowen
BIOL3674 IMS-III: Endocrine Sciences 1 S/NC G. Gopalakrishnan, R. DeLellis, W. Bowen
BIOL3674 IMS-III: Human Reproduction
1 S/NC B. Cronin, B. Hampton, A. Stuckey R. DeLellis, W. Bowen

MD 2017 Second Year, Second Semester 

Course Credits Grading Option Course Leader(S)
BIOL3670 Doctoring IV 2 S/NC M. Daniel, S. Rougas
BIOL3672 IMS-IV: Hematology 1 S/NC E. Wittels, A. Taber, L. Dumenco, W. Bowen
BIOL3673 IMS-IV: Gastroenterology 1 S/NC

H. Rich, M. LeGolvan, W. Bowen

BIOL5885 Doctoring V: Clinical Skills Clerkship 1 S/NC

J. Taylor, P. George, M. Daniel

Course of Study—3rd and 4th Years

All students must complete at least 80 weeks of instruction. Each 12 month academic year is divided into 4 quarters of 12 weeks, with one week intervening vacations spanning 22 months, from May of Year 3 through April of Year 4. Depending on how the major winter holidays fall during, some years, the winter vacation is two consecutive weeks. You may take established courses at Brown or other universities, participate in approved off-site preceptorships, design independent studies with an approved faculty sponsor, or combine clinical and campus endeavors for this elective period, but a minimum of 70 weeks must be spent at Brown (includes core clerkships and 38 elective weeks). Anyone with compelling reasons for an exception to the rule of 70 weeks at Brown must request a waiver from the Associate Dean for Medical Education.

Beginning with the MD Class of 2016; the following represent the requirements for Years 3 and 4:

12 weeks, Clerkship in Internal Medicine
6 weeks, Clerkship in Surgery
6 weeks, Clerkship in Obstetrics and Gynecology
6 weeks, Clerkship in Pediatrics
6 weeks, Clerkship in Psychiatry-Clinical Neuroscience I (PNS I)*
6 weeks, Clerkship in Family Medicine

*For the class of MD 2015, students were required to take a 6 week Psychiatry clerkship.

All of the specialty-specific clerkships listed above are taken only after the student has completed the Clinical Skills Clerkship.  The six core clerkships must be completed by the end of Quarter 4B of Year 3.  A 4 week Clerkship in Psychiatry-Clinical Neuroscience II (PNS II) must be completed during Year 4.

Plus 34 weeks or more of Electives (24 weeks of which must be taken at Brown)

80 weeks minimum total (70 weeks of which must be taken at Brown)

The 34 weeks or more of electives must include the following:

  1. 4 weeks of a sub-internship
  2. 26 weeks in an Advanced Clinical Mentorship (ACM), one half day per week (26 sessions for 2 weeks of credit)
  3. 6 weeks of a surgery or surgery-related elective. A 4 week surgery sub-internship can fulfill both the sub-internship requirement (see below) as well as count as 4 out of the 6 weeks of the surgery-related electives.
  4. 8 or more weeks of clinical electives which include direct patient contact, under the direct personal supervision of Brown faculty (so-called "selectives").

Add/Drop: Students are permitted to add or drop clerkships no less than 30 days prior to the start of the clerkship. For clinical electives (including away rotations) and independent study projects, adds and drops in Oasis must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the start date of the course. Courses cannot be retroactively added or dropped.

Students must include at least four weeks of an approved sub-internship within the clinical course of study in Year 4. This may be taken at Brown (in which case it counts toward the eight-week selective requirement) or elsewhere.

Students are required to complete an Advanced Clinical Mentorship (ACM) in their last two years of medical school. The ACM is typically six months in duration and consists of one-half day per week at a single outpatient site. Students receive two weeks of credits for completing 26 sessions.

  1. Consider when the best time might be to begin your ACM.  The ACM must last for 26 clinical sessions, typically six months, to fulfill the requirement although it can be shorter if you complete more than one clinical session per week (see below). You will get the most out of your ACM by taking it after you have completed all or most of the core clerkships. This usually means starting your ACM at the beginning of your final year of medical school (May-July). Therefore, students are discouraged but not prohibited from starting their ACM during their third year of medical school.
  2. In the event that your ACM will run concurrently with a core clerkship, please carefully review the "don't miss" times during the clerkship (see below). Working with your ACM supervisor, try to develop a satisfactory schedule. Scheduling of core clerkship requirements takes precedence over ACM activities. ACM scheduling options are flexible and may include changing the half-day period, starting your half-day at a different time, or scheduling ACM activities for less often than every week or for as often as twice a week at times when you are not enrolled in a core clerkship. Students are not permitted to do more than one half-day ACM session per week during a required clerkship. The responsibility for advance planning rests on your shoulders, so plan ahead!
  3. If relevant, speak directly to the clerkship team whose clerkship will run concurrently with your ACM at least five weeks in advance. Let the clerkship coordinator/director know your proposed ACM schedule and inquire if that schedule is going to be compatible with the clerkship activities.
  4. With advanced planning and good faith on the part of all concerned, everything should work out fine. However, if you and the clerkship director are unable to reach a mutually acceptable plan, then you should contact the Director of Clinical Curriculum who will help to identify a solution.

Details and forms required for planning your ACM can be found at the MD Curriculum, Years 3 and 4, web site:

The Fourth-Year Objective Structured Clinical Examination:  After completing all of their specialty-specific clinical clerkships, every senior medical student must take an Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) at the start of Year 4.  See Section III for more details.  Passing this summative OSCE is a graduation requirement and appears on the medical student performance evaluation (MSPE).

Independent Study

Students are eligible for an Independent Study project in Year 3 (when not enrolled in a clinical clerkship) and Year 4. Independent studies require that the student submit a proposal and obtain approval from both a faculty sponsor and the student's advisor.  Approval and registration in Oasis needs to be obtained 2 weeks prior to the start of the independent study project. Further details available at:


Further Requirements for the Awarding of the MD Degree

  • Every candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must satisfactorily complete the 8 quarters comprising Years 3 and 4 as a matriculated medical student at Brown University and pay 8 quarters of tuition. This does not preclude away electives. If approved, students may also use time in addition to the 8 quarters for the Academic Scholar Program (ASP), leave of absence, and/or additional degrees. (see section XII for more details regarding taking approved time away from AMS).

  • AMS students are expected to be enrolled full time unless they are on approved time away (LOA or ASP) from Brown University.

  • A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must complete all the requirements for that degree within six years of admission to the medical school (nine years for MD/PhD candidates). Exceptions to this rule may be made only with the consent of the Medical Committee on Academic Standing and Professionalism (MCASP). The maximum period of six years (and nine years for MD/PhD candidates) includes the time spent on an approved leave of absence or ASP status.

  • The MCASP shall recommend granting of the medical degree to candidates who have fulfilled the academic requirements.

  • Students will be allowed to receive their diploma only if all tuition and fees have been fully paid and other obligations fulfilled, such as return of keys and library books, and repayment of emergency short-term loans.

  • All required courses must be completed by the 4th Friday in April prior to graduation.

  • USMLE Step 1* - must be taken by all AMS medical students. Medical students may not take the USMLE Step 1 examination until they have successfully completed all preclinical courses.  All students are strongly encouraged to take Step 1 prior to beginning clerkships.  All medical students must pass the USMLE Step 1 examination prior to graduation. Students will be permitted to take the Step 1 examination no more than three times.

  • USMLE Step 2 CK* - All medical students must take the USMLE Step 2CK examination prior to January 1 of their final year.  Starting with the MD Class of 2018, students must pass the Step 2 CK in order to graduate.

  • USMLE Step 2 CS* - All students must take Step 2CS no later than April 1st prior to graduation.  Because of limited site and date availability, students are strongly advised to register for the Step 2CS examination during the spring of Year 3 and take the examination during the fall of Year 4 (prior to December 1st).

  • Any exceptions to these rules will be made at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Medical Education.

*Students who do not pass Step 1 or Step 2 (CK or CS) on their first attempt must meet with a designated member of the administration prior to being certified to retake the exam.

For other pertinent policies, see Section V—Academic Standing and Promotion and Section XII--Policies on Leaves of Absence and the Academic Scholar Program.